Saturday, 3 March 2018

Death On The Mountain (1961)

This film is tells a story about how a trip in the mountains ends in tragedy and how suspicions grow after an article about it is published in a magazine.

It’s a fairly short film that focuses only on the main event - the tragic but apparently accidental death of a mountaineer. There are no sub-plots or character development beyond that which moves the story along. This means that, every step of the way, you feel you’re getting closer to a solution even if the film itself isn’t that fast paced.

Perhaps the film’s greatest achievement is the introduction, halfway through, of a new main character. With only a few broad strokes, the actor manages to establish himself as likable and interesting.

This is especially important since the final third of the film concerns him and the apparent killer retracing the steps of the doomed mountaineering party to pay their respects. As they do, the new guy keeps making observations about how the events of that fateful day don’t make sense and the tension between them slowly increases.

But do all these small clues add up? And if they do, will the killer kill again?

This is an enjoyable film, written in a tight, economic style and with some beautiful photography of mountain ranges.

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